Activision Publishing’s 600 QA workers form union

Activision Publishing’s 600 QA workers form union

An estimated 600 workers at Activision Publishing’s quality assurance department have formed the biggest union for gaming in the U.S.

With the help of the Communications Workers of America, the employees voted and certified the results on Friday, forming the Activision Quality Assurance United – CWA union. Quality assurance workers test games for bugs and they’re often the entry level for getting jobs as game developers.

Previously, the CWA reached a labor neutrality agreement in 2022 with Microsoft, which now owns the company with its $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

Tom Shelley, a technical requirements specialist and one of Activision Quality Assurance United’s organizers, told the Verge that the labor neutrality agreement and Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard last year made their goals of unionizing easier to accomplish.

GB Event

GamesBeat Summit Call for Speakers

We’re thrilled to open our call for speakers to our flagship event, GamesBeat Summit 2024 hosted in Los Angeles, where we will explore the theme of “Resilience and Adaption”.

Apply to speak here

Microsoft recognized the union and previous recognized a union of 300 QA workers at ZeniMax Online. Activision Blizzard also has unions at Blizzard in Albany and Raven Software in Wisconsin. All of this is happening at a time when the game industry is seeing record layoffs — 8,000 so far this year and 10,500 in 2023.

In a statement, Amy Pannoni, vice president and deputy general counsel for HR Legal at Microsoft said, “We maintained our commitment to remain neutral during the organizing campaign, and following this vote we recognize the Communications Workers of America (CWA) as the bargaining representative for the Activision Publishing Central Quality Assurance employees. We look forward to continuing our positive labor management relationship.”

The workers are spread out across California, Texas and Minnesota. All told, the CWA represents more than 1,000 Microsoft workers. Workers have been organizing at Activision since 2021. At that time, the state of California sued (in a now settled case) for widespread sexual misconduct.

VentureBeat’s mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative enterprise technology and transact. Discover our Briefings.

About the author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *